Friday, June 19, 2015

No One Should Be Turned Away

Within the last few weeks in Nova Scotia, there has been several stories come to light in way of the mental health system and their many short comings regarding treatment. People who suffer mental health concerns are being turned away at alarming rates from the hospital when they ought to have been admitted for safety. Others seeking outpatient care wait months until until they are seen by a clinician- that is if their calls are returned.

Many people who have attempted to navigate "the system" know there are many short comings and flaws within it. Yet when the leaders are in the media and have to face the recent allegations, they defend the system and state that everyone responded accordingly and they do their best to offer the best quality care available.

I would like to know what they consider to be their best quality of care as it certainly is not what people have been experiencing or hearing about as of late. In my mind, quality of care includes helping someone through their illness and keeping them safe if they may be in harm. Quality of care is providing the respect that everyone should be treated with regardless of their differences. Quality of care is when someone does not have to wait hours to be seen in an ER or months to be seen in the mental health department. Quality of care does not include turning away someone who is seeking help for their mental health concerns and it certainly does not include ignoring someone's suicidal thoughts.

Across Canada, we lose approximately 3500 people annually to suicide, working out to 9.6 deaths per day. No matter what the stakeholders may say, those numbers are a direct reflection to how Canada is doing in way of mental health in our nation. Don't you wonder with those numbers, how many deaths are on the system's shoulders due to their lack of response? They may try to cover up the cracks in the system and pretend they are not there however the fact is that people continue to fall through those cracks daily and sadly end their life.

Personally, I know what it feels like to try to navigate the mental health system and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. A person should not feel as if they are on trial, having to prove to the doctor that they are so ill that they need inpatient care. However, many people experience similar situations where the professional feels that they know what is best for the patient without consulting them first. It does not seem to matter what the family and friends think either with for treatment options; the ones who see this person regularly in comparison to a short ER visit the doctor bases their decision on. There are many flaws in the system and this is only of them.

Mood Disorders of Canada conducted a survey in 2011 and asked for peoples views about mental health services and supports in Canada. The results were eye opening as to what areas needed to majorly change in order to provide better care and what areas seemed like they were fairing pretty well. Mood Disorders wants to know if there have been any changes since that time and want to hear from you. From now until June 27th, you can weigh in and give your opinion regarding how things are going in your area for services. To weigh in and give your opinion, please follow this link below:

Thank you in advance for taking the survey and letting them know your experience to mental health services in your area. Your opinion and thoughts matter greatly.

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